On the 9th April our Trustee, Flaminia Martin, undertook the Brighton Marathon in 21 degree heat raising funds for the trust. Flaminia had been training for 16 weeks ahead of the day and completed the 26.2 miles in a gruelling 4hours 45 minutes and 12 seconds. To date Flaminia had raised £953.75 (incl. gift aid). Thank you so much to all the kind people who sponsored her to complete the challenge.
Montgomery, Normandy – a further cleaning and waxing of the Monty statue was completed at the request and expense of the Spirit of Normandy Trust. A pledge given to the members of Normandy Veterans Association when it closed in 2014. We are delighted with the quality of the restoration. undertaken by Matthew Beesley of Gem Conservation Ltd who was first commissioned to restore the statue in time for the 70th anniversary. This will be a long term commitment for the Trust to ensure that the statue does not deteriorate over the years.
We are pleased to announce that following two previous and successful events, we are planning a reunion for Normandy Veterans over the weekend of 29th September to the 1st of October. Working closely with Return to Normandy, we expect to commence the weekend with a reception and light buffest on the Friday evening, a reunion event on the Saturday during the day, followed by a dinner in the evening. The weekend will draw to a close with a Commemorative Service on the Sunday morning. More details soon, but if you are interested in coming along to part or all of the weekend, please get in touch.
On 10th January 2017 the funeral took place, in Cheux, France, of Robert Fieffé a well known figure at Aldershot Airborne Forces Day. Robert used to annually bring his group of ex Para’s to the UK and many will have personally known him and have fond memories.
The Aldershot branch of the PRA first met Robert, when one year on a visit to France they found their hotel double booked. Robert immediately organised all the villagers of Cheux who welcomed many as guests into their homes.
He was too young to join the Forces during the war, but took an active part in helping the French Resistance by delivering messages on his bicycle
Robert was instrumental as a leading figure in restoring Pegasus Bridge and the new Museum. He was well known and respected throughout Normandy and will be greatly missed.
The Trust pays for a plot at this ceremony every year and the Trust is represented by a Trustee and if at all possible accompanied by a Veteran of the Campaign. This year Ian Stewart, Vice-Chairman of the Trust was present with Veteran Don Sheppard from the Southend Normandy Veterans Branch. A cold day for the event but a dry one and we were all grateful for that at least.